Hi friends!

I’m Patricia. I’m Black, Asian, and queer. I’ve had a lifetime of answering questions in various settings. I was a sex educator & dating expert for years. I have a Master’s of Library and Information Science. I talk a lot about books but my degree can be summed up in three things: being able to find information, being able to tell valid information from bullshit, and making information accessible.

I also do a lot of emotional and intellectual labor around giving allies information and resources about race, LGBTQIA things, intersectional feminism, mental illness (I’m a member of the clinical depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder club), and that’s just the stuff from a first-hand perspective.

I also read a lot of self-help/self-improvement books and I’m repeatedly disappointed. They rarely feel applicable. I don’t feel like a badass when depression makes it so I don’t even want to be out of bed. I don’t want to win friends and influence people when I have social anxiety that keeps me in hiding. “Leaning in” doesn’t always work when you’re a woman of color.

So, I’ve started this newsletter. There’s not a lot of self-improvement for me, so I gotta make my own thing. I also want allies to stop bothering their one Black or queer or depressed friend and asking them to do emotional labor for free. At best, I want to be a resource people can use and recommend. At least, I hope to share some laughs, some thoughts, and lots of encouragement and resource recommendations of my own.

We’re all in this together.

Wanna send me snail mail? My address is P.O. Box 21481, Oakland, CA 94620-1481.

Enthusiastic Encouragement & Dubious Advice is a weekly newsletter by Patricia Elzie. You can find me on TwitterInstagramAll the Books, and Goodreads.

You can shop any books I’ve mentioned at any time in this newsletter at The Infophile’s Bookshop, my Bookshop affiliate site, and support independent bookstores. All linked books within this newsletter are affiliate links.

I live in Oakland, CA on the territory of xučyun (Huichin), the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo speaking Ohlone people, the successors of the sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County. This land was and continues to be of great importance to the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and other familial descendants of the Verona Band. I acknowledge the ways I benefit from the use and occupation of this land and that the Muwekma Ohlone people are alive and flourishing members of the Bay Area. (via UC Berkeley Land Acknowledgement)